Saturday, May 1, 2010

Polytechnic 2.0

... will help us become more informed, responsive, innovative and learner-centred...

Unprecedented opportunity to achieve more open, accountable, responsive and efficient leadership...

Once information and learning resources are liberated as key organisational assets, possibilities — foreseeable and otherwise — are unlocked through the invention, creativity and hard work...

These statements are derived from Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0 - an Australian Government Taskforce report calling for public agencies and public servants to engage more using the tools and capabilities of the ‘collaborative web’ or Web 2.0.

This comes at a time when there are calls from within educational institutions in Tasmania to restrict and even block altogether access to Web 2 services such as Facebook.

As the Report states:

Government 2.0 requires leaders to engage with what is for many, an unfamiliar and challenging agenda. Are we up to it?

Though it involves new technology, Polytechnic 2.0 is really about a new approach... the existing culture of hierarchical control and direction must change sufficiently to encourage and reward engagement.

The Report has been released under a Creative Commons 2.5 Australia Licence allowing a new document Engage: Getting on with Polytechnic 2.0 to be derived from it - mostly by replacing the word 'Government' with 'Polytechnic' and focusing on learning and the learner.

This derived version outlines a Polytechnic 2.0 agenda in terms of three pillars:

  • Leadership, policy and governance to achieve necessary shifts in culture and practice.

  • The application of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and practices to the institution as a learning organisation.

  • Open access to leadership and management information and to open educational resources (OER).

Polytechnic 2.0 presents challenges to some well established organisational and educational practices and has the potential to change the relationship between our institution and its learning communities.

Getting back to Facebook there are many educational reasons to question the calls to restrict or block access to this and other web 2 services. According to the 2009 Horizon Report:

“Increasing globalization continues to affect the way we work,collaborate, and communicate. Information technologies are having a significant impact on how people work, play, gain information, and collaborate. Increasingly, those who use technology in ways that expand their global
connections are more likely to advance, while those who do not will find themselves on the sidelines. With the growing availability of tools to connect learners and scholars all over the world — online collaborative workspaces, social networking tools, mobiles, voice-over-IP, and more — teaching and scholarship are transcending traditional borders more and more all the time.”

For more see In Defence of Facebook.


Anonymous said...

HI Roger, your blog accurately reflects what we are experiencing in IBM where we are in fact actively building our own social networking tools that replicate popular web 2.0 social networking sites.

We have Bluetube, Bluepedia, Practitioner Portal, Beehive all focussed on putting social networking to work to improve the way we do business for our clients.

It enables our staff to discover information, learn from experts just in time, engage in learning conversations, echange assets and knowledge and build communities of interest.

IBM believes that by empowering people to easily connect with employees business partners, and customers, social networking tools rather than to be avoided, need to be embraced as they can help businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and others realize the following benefits:

* Task execution is faster through quick access to information from an expanded professional network

* Increased efficiency and effectiveness of business processes by using existing skills discovered through your professional network

* Decisions can be made with confidence knowing they were vetted by experts across the organization and reflect past experience

* Innovative products and services can be developed using the experiences and knowledge of communities of employees, partners, and customers

* Sustainable competitive advantage can be created by leveraging innovation from across your value chain and building stronger relationships.

Social Networking enables visibility into what people in your networks and communities are:

* Saying
* Publishing
* Consuming
* Rating and tagging
* Filtering based on what’s relevant through networks and communities
* Targeting via the ability to focus Q&A to relevant channels
* Sharing informal learning with new capabilities to create and publish.

Social Networking allows one to effectively and efficiently be more productive and knowledgeable through and increased ability to find expertise, share and disseminate information, find information, get an immediate answer to a question, find relevant learning, learn in new and innovative ways, stay connected, and feel like a part of the organization.

Kathryn Thomas, IBM (Board Member, Tasmanian Polytechnic)

Roger Stack said...

Kathryn, thanks for this insight into how IBM is using social networking. For me the filtering of information through professional colleagues saves a great deal of time. This filtering efficiently brings me effective learning practices and technologies that are usually grounded in real experience.

Your comment about feeling part of the organisation is interesting - currently there is very little effective online networking in the Poly but I certainly feel part of vibrant national and global educational communities.